Malini was born to film producer Jaya Lakshmi Chakravarti, and VSR Chakravarti on 16 October 1948 in Tamil Nadu. Malini attended the Mahila Sabha in Chennai and studied at DTEA Mandir Marg. She is a trained classical dancer in dance forms including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Mohiniattam. She abandoned her education to pursue her acting career.
Hema debuted as a supporting artiste in Tamil film Idhu Sathiyam (1962). She made her Hindi film debut with the film titled Sapnon Ka Saudagar in 1968. She became an established actress with successful films like Tum Haseen Main Jawaan, Lal Patthar, Andaaz, Naseeb, Gora Aur Kala, Dharmatma, Sanyasi, Satte Pe Satta, Dream Girl, Trishul, Suraag, Kranti, Andha Kanoon, Sitapur Ki Geeta, Naya Zamana, Raja Jani, Seeta Aur Geeta, Patthar Aur Payal, Dost, Sholay, Charas, Jugnu, Azaad and Dillagi. Among her other wins, she has won Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (2000), Filmfare Award – Best Actress for Seeta Aur Geeta (1973), Screen Special Award – Jodi No. 1 for Baghban (2004) shared with Amitabh Bachchan and Zee Cine Lifetime Achievement Award (2003).
Some of her notable films include:
- Seeta Aur Geeta
- Satte Pe Satta
- Dream Girl
According to reports, Dharmendra and Hema Malini converted to Islam before marriage, as Dharmendra’s first wife Prakash Kaur, with whom he has two sons- actors Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol, was unwilling to divorce him. Hema Mailini and Dharmendra married in 1980. The couple has two daughters, Bollywood actress Esha Deol and Ahana Deol, an assistant director. Hema won general Lok Sabha elections in 2014. From 2003 to 2009, she served as an MP to the upper house – the Rajya Sabha. She performs classical dance in variety of dance festivals and charitable events along with her daughters, who are also classical dancers. Hema is the founder of the Natya Vihar Kalakendra dance school. Hema has appeared in television serials such as Jai Mata Ki (2000), Kamini Damini and her directorial Noopur. Hema became the first female chairperson of the National Film Development Corporation for a term of three years in 2000.